How St. Patrick’s Day Became a Popular Holiday

by Tim | Mar 10, 2023

How St. Patrick’s Day Became a Popular Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular day to celebrate all over the world, despite its Irish origins. Many people recognise the day because of its association with leprechauns – yup, the same leprechauns you find in many online slots in the UK – green outfits, and of course, a pint (or two, or three) of Guinness. 

But what about this particular day has made it such a beloved event, even to those without any Irish heritage? 

Who was St. Patrick?

Many of us enjoy a good St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but if we were to pause and think about it for one moment, do we know who he was and why he became loved by so many?’s article “Who Was St. Patrick?” explains that St. Patrick was actually born British and spent the first 16 years of his life living with his wealthy family. However, that all came to an abrupt end when Irish raiders kidnapped the young man and took him back with them to Ireland. 

He spent six years as a captive, working as a shepherd for his captors. During this time, he found comfort in religion, specifically Christianity. Then one night he had a dream, and in this dream a voice told him to leave Ireland. He believed it was the voice of God, and when an opportunity for freedom presented itself, Patrick escaped. He made the journey to the Irish coast on foot and returned home.

However, not long after he made it back home, he had another dream in which an angel told him that he should become a missionary and return to Ireland. After 15 years of religious studies, that’s exactly what he did. 

Since he had spent so much time in Ireland, he understood their culture well. He used that knowledge to integrate Irish practices into his Christian teachings and became very popular for doing so. 

Even though he was never officially canonised by the Catholic Church, Patrick was nonetheless proclaimed a saint for spreading Christianity throughout Ireland simply because he was loved by so many.

The day of his passing is recorded as March 17th, but the exact year is unclear. 

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and what’s the day about?

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day marks the celebration of St. Patrick as the patron saint of Ireland. In the past, it was celebrated as a feast day. To avoid any confusion, this doesn’t mean it was a day for eating. The term “feast day” refers to a day of celebration for a particular saint in Christian religions. 

So with regard to the reason why we celebrate St. Patrick’s day, it was a holy day that people dedicated to celebrating the life and accomplishments of St. Patrick. More specifically, St. Patrick is honoured for how he spread Christianity around Ireland. 

How do people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today?

A group of friends wearing green items of clothing and having drinks to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

But the modern version of St. Patrick’s Day is quite different and actually has its roots in the US when the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in 1762. Fast forward to today, and many people like to celebrate Irish culture by dressing up in something green – the national colour of Ireland – enjoying Irish food and drink (particularly Guinness) and watching parades with Irish music, dancing and lots of Irish flag waving!

When is St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patricks Day is always celebrated on March 17. While people have officially been celebrating it as a feast day since the early 17th century, there is some evidence that people have been paying tribute to St. Patrick centuries before that. 

How did St. Patrick’s Day become a global event?

It’s understandable that the Irish would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but how did a very cultural holiday make its way across the globe to countries such as Australia, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States?

The Economist’s 2020 YouTube video “Why St Patrick’s Day went global” looks at the numerous factors that contributed to this Irish day becoming a worldwide phenomenon. There are three main reasons:

Irish mass migration to various countries throughout history

The Irish have been travelling and settling in other countries since the Middle Ages and possibly earlier, particularly during times of hardship, such as the Great Famine, also known as the Irish Potato Famine of 1845. 

The growing popularity of Irish pubs around the world

In their video, the Economist states that, at the time (2020), there were at least 8,500 Irish pubs around the world in countries as diverse as Nepal, Dubai and Mongolia. Unsurprisingly, part of this global spread of Irish pubs can be attributed to the increased popularity of Guinness, which has helped to develop Irish pubs and Irish pub culture in more than 150 countries around the world.

Irish politicians helping promote the day outside of Ireland

Many Irish politicians take the opportunity to promote Ireland by visiting countries on St. Patrick’s Day, helping promote Ireland as a country to people who might not otherwise think twice about the island nation.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day at The Phone Casino

We hope these St. Patrick’s Day facts have helped you gain a deeper appreciation of this annual festival. St. Patrick’s Day is undoubtedly a great day of celebration, so be sure to include some of the incredible Irish-themed slots as part of your day! Yes, sadly there are no Saint Patrick slots, but you can spin the reels with games such as Clover Rollover 2, Irish Luck, Kiss Me Clover, Leprechaun Song, and more! And if you’re all tapped out on Irish celebrations for the day, try out our other exciting slots as well as other exciting games such as blackjack, roulette and video poker.

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